Here’s How Much To Tip a Massage Therapist

You probably had a rough time figuring out how much to tip a massage therapist if you’ve ever tipped one.

A standard dollar amount doesn’t apply to all massage therapists, and it may not be obvious that the service you received was worth what you paid. So, exactly how much to tip a massage therapist?

This guide will help you determine the proper amount to tip your massage therapist.

How Much To Tip a Massage Therapist

Does tipping for massages make sense?

Tipping has no connection to how much money you make or have. It is a way to express gratitude to those who have given you a service.

Some people give massage tips based on the quality of the service. In this way, they will know how much you tip them and where you rate their service.

People generally feel obligated to tip after receiving good service, and this is especially true for massage therapists. Tipping can be challenging for many people since it requires an additional amount on top of the massage fee.

Tipping is also seen as an act of kindness to the service provider. Let’s say someone is suffering from shoulder pain and wants a massage. When they feel that the service helped them with their pain, they may tip the masseuse generously.

The factors that may influence your tip

The quality of service

After a massage, an experienced massage therapist will always relieve your trigger points and leave you feeling refreshed. On the other hand, a lousy massage therapist will leave you feeling as if there’s something wrong with your body and you’ll go home hating what you’ve just experienced.

Amount of time they spend on you

As massage is labor-intensive, it is important how much time the masseuse spends on you, so they deserve more compensation for cranking on your back for an hour.

Personal attention

Your massage therapist should pay more attention to your concerns, questions, and problems. They should ask permission before touching you. The best masseuses find out exactly where the pain is and then treat those areas with expert skill. Ask yourself: are they listening intently to your needs to provide personalized service?


Ask yourself: are they professional? Do they make an effort to be friendly and kind? How do they treat their clients?

A professional appearance, demeanor, and ability to communicate with clients are all part of professionalism.

Good Reasons to Tip

  • A way to express gratitude and generosity.
  • You feel good knowing that you’re helping someone make a living.
  • Your tip will motivate the therapist to provide better service.
  • The masseuse will spend more time working on your problem areas.
  • The massage you will receive will be of the highest quality.

how much to tip massage therapist

How to Tip Your Massage Therapist Appropriately

Tipping massage therapists is a common practice worldwide, so it’s good to know how to tip them appropriately. Tipping your masseuse is not legally required, but it is an appreciated gesture of gratitude and appreciation.

Massage therapy regulars are probably already familiar with tipping. However, if this is your first time, or if you’ve got something wrong, let’s help get your money right.

Check to see if gratuity is included

Massage parlors typically charge a fixed fee for their services. Therefore, there is no tipping involved.

Leaving a tip for your masseuse is courteous if the fixed price of the service does not include gratuity. Typically, the person delivering the service receives payment, not the establishment.

By checking to see if the gratuity is included in your appointment, you could avoid any confusion or potential embarrassment on your part.

Check if tipping is allowed

Tipping is generally seen more as an etiquette practice than as an expectation. While not mandatory, it is appreciated. When in doubt, ask your massage therapist before tipping. Most massage therapists have their own tipping guidelines.

Where to tip

Rather than including the tip with the bill, it’s better to give the tip directly to the recipient in cash.

When not to tip

Massage therapists receive tips as a sign of appreciation. Budget-conscious people, the elderly, or those who do not wish to tip may be exempt from tipping.

Tip only when you feel it is deserved. If you are unsatisfied with the service, tipping might be unreasonable.

The real question: How much should you tip?

A therapist would often prefer a happy client to a full wallet. Depending on the rate in your area and the type of massage you received, you should give the appropriate amount.

Massage therapists typically receive tips of 10-20% of their total session cost after their services are complete, with 10% being the most common amount.

You may want to tip the therapist 20% or more if they were good and gave a soothing massage. If they did a poor job or barely touched you, choose 10%.

The average tip for a massage therapist is $20, according to our research. There’s no better way to make your massage therapist happy than to throw in a few extra bucks before you leave. Don’t tip with a check or credit card – always tip in cash.

Tipping masseuses appropriately is not easy, and the best way to get the right amount is by using an online tip calculator like this one.

If you’re still unsure, ask your therapist how he or she prefers to be tipped. Be sure you understand any tipping policies.

Several states do not allow tipping, so it is very important to be aware of any potential regulations that may apply per state.

How to Hand Over a Tip

You can tip in the following ways without making things awkward:

  • Offer them an envelope or another means of discreetly receiving the tip without embarrassing either party.
  • Ask them what the appropriate amount is. Then, take out your wallet and hand them the cash.
  • Leave the money on the table in front of the practitioner before they come back to say goodbye.

How Much To Tip a Massage Therapist

Other ways to show appreciation for the service they provide

  • Acknowledge their skills. Let them know how much you enjoyed the massage.
  • Compliment them on more than just their physical attributes.
  • You might want to try another type of massage.
  • Tell your friends or family about their services as a way of showing your gratitude.
  • Offer them small gifts. Massage clients sometimes like to give their masseuse something they will use in their work, such as lotion, oils, or candles.
  • Leave them good feedback on sites like Yelp so that other customers can find the best massage therapist in their area.
  • Give them more work! You can hire them to provide customized, one-on-one massages to your key clients.
  • Give them a gift card for a local restaurant. Restaurant gift cards can be for anything within reason — from an upscale restaurant like Chianti Ristorante, Le Cirque to a fast-food place like McDonald’s or KFC.

FAQs – How Much To Tip a Massage Therapist

Do you tip a massage therapist?

Many people take massages for granted and rarely think about the person who gives them. If you want a relaxing massage, consider tipping your massage therapist. You might not think this through, but the person giving you their time may greatly appreciate it. While some therapists don’t believe tipping is necessary, others do. Ultimately, it’s up to you whether to tip your therapist.

Does it seem rude not to tip a massage therapist?

A massage therapist’s income largely depends on tips. Since therapy services are typically hourly, many people feel obligated to tip them. Others consider it rude not to tip because it simply isn’t customary. If you tip a therapist, they will remember your name and look forward to seeing you again more than if you don’t.

For a longer massage, should I tip more?

How good your massage is will determine the answer. You can gauge the quality of the massage by its duration. A short massage probably isn’t worth tipping since it will be over before you have the chance to enjoy it. However, if you are going to be in the spa for an hour or two, tipping is a good idea.

What’s the proper tipping for a couples massage?

Couples receive massage therapy to relieve stress, alleviate pain, and de-stress their relationship. The standard tip for a couples massage is 15-20% of the total cost. Additionally, if you’d like to tip individually, it’s best to discuss how much each person should tip beforehand.

What is the proper way to ask for tips as a massage therapist?

The courts have provided many guidelines, but many people are still uncertain about how to ask respectfully. Simply tell them, “I would appreciate it if you could offer me a tip.”

Clients who are willing to tip you should do so without feeling obligated to do so.

Bottom line

When tipping massage therapists, consider the experience, expertise and time spent, and the type of massage performed. Typically, you should tip 15-20% of the total cost of the service. A great experience may motivate you to tip more. These include deep tissue, Thai, Shiatsu, acupuncture, reflexology, and acupressure.

Before your appointment, ask your local masseuse what their tipping policy is. When it’s time to leave them a gratuity, you’ll know what to expect.

Massage therapists do not always need to be tipped, but it’s a nice gesture, especially if you’ve been going to the same one for a while. Plan your tip ahead of time so you don’t have to wonder how much to tip a massage therapist after the massage.

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